Slow cooker season is in full swing, and what better way to warm up than with a big ol’ bowl of chicken chili! This crowd-friendly favorite is perfect for chili winter nights (see what I did there?) and is the ultimate football-watching food. And because it’s made in a slow cooker, you can whip it up in minutes then let it cook low and slow for hours until you’re ready to dig in.
I’ve opted for ground chicken, but turkey works just as well. And if you’re feeling like a bit more flavor or fat, go big with ground beef. So pick your protein of choice and then cook it on the stovetop before adding it to your slow cooker with a slew of flavor-packed ingredients. Check out this lineup:
We’re talkin’ onions, pepper, chili beans, kidney beans, tomato paste, tons of spices and a single secret ingredient that makes the whole dish sing: cocoa powder!
Yes, indeed. Cocoa powder is my secret ingredient for truly crave-worthy chili. It lends a touch of sweetness while the subtle hint of chocolate brings together a melting pot (literally) of flavors. And of course no bowl of chicken chili is complete without all the fixins’, including a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and sliced scallions. A tasty touchdown indeed!
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- 2 lbs ground chicken
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- 1 green bell pepper, diced small
- 3 cloves garlic, minced fine
- 1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- Assorted toppings, such as sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and sliced scallions
- Cook the ground ground chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Transfer the ground chicken into the slow cooker.
- To the chicken, add the onion, pepper, garlic, kidney beans, pinto beans, tomato sauce, tomato paste, unsweetened cocoa powder, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, oregano, and chili powder. Stir everything together, and then add the chicken broth to the slow cooker.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook the chili on LOW for 8 hours, or on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Serve the chili with assorted toppings.
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Recipe by Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
Good recipe, but is 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder a misprint? I had to add a lot more (about 6 Tablespoons) to give this recipe the proper chili flavor. The chili powder that I use does not contain any salt. I also added a little bit of balsamic vinegar.
Hi Robin – No it’s not a misprint! Feel free to add more as you like :)
Absolutely delicious with ground chicken! I leave out the peppers, tomato paste and coriander, but everything else is exactly as the recipe says. I’m not a spicy nor chili person and I love this recipe!
Love, love, love reading this! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Lori!
Delicious! My husband not a fan or turkey chilli but this recipe hit all the right notes. Perfect balance between healthy and tasty!!
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Tanya!
Made it and loved it I did add some diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes and chick peas.
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Stephen!
I only have half the chicken (1 pound). What would you suggest I add to make up for the other pound of chicken? Chickpeas? Lentils?
I’d load up on any other beans! I love kidney beans in chili :)
Fantastic! Hubby didn’t even know it was chicken instead of ground beef until I told him. I did leave out the green peppers for him, but this was the best chili I ever made and it was so easy. Thank you for this. It will be a star at Superbowl!
Woohoo! I’m so thrilled you and your husband enjoyed the recipe, Karen!
Wondering if I can use dark chocolate cocoa powder as this is all I have. Please advise. Looking forward to trying this tonight!
Absolutely! That will taste great.
Excellent! I modified it by adding Onion powder, Garlic powder, Thyme, Basil and Parsley. I’m not allowed to have beans.
Regardless of anything I did, however, the Cacao is the kicker! You’re right about it bringing all the flavors together, and it gives off a hanging aftertaste that isn’t bad at all.
This is being stapled to the fridge.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Mitch!
Can you make this on top of the stove? I plan to double the recipe, and I’m not sure if all the ingredients will fit in my 6qt crockpot
Hi Donna – Sure! You can follow the directions but add all of the ingredients to a large heavy-bottomed pot and cook it until the ingredients are warmed. One note: The longer it cooks, the more tender the veggies and the more flavorful the chili will be. :)
I’m going to make this for the family to eat while watching football! Loving the addition of cocoa as it seems it’s going to enrich the flavour and make it almost mole like!!! Excited I came across this recipe!!!!
Can’t wait to hear your results, Jullie! Enjoy!
This was sooo good! I only had 1 pound of ground chicken and it was plenty! I think this would make a great freezer meal too! So much better than regular old chili! Thanks for the recipe!
You are so welcome, Emily! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Family loved it!
So thrilled to hear this, Mariska!
Hey there! Just wondering how you would cook this in an Insta Pot. Thanks for any tips.
I’ve never tried that so, unfortunately, I can’t offer any tips. Sorry I can’t be of more help, Gaby!
I was minutes away from prepping my Chicken Chili and decided to run a search for a few minutes. I am happy I did! I am going to add cocoa powder!
Adding… thanks for the grin I had reading the prep and cook times under the recipe title. I know it is a typo and the correct cook time is in the directions, yet a grin or laugh is always a good thing.
Thanks for this recipe! I am subscribing.
Thanks for catching that typo, Gwen! Enjoy the chili :)
What would a serving be, 1 cup?
Hi Jessica – It’s hard to specify exactly given the varying quantities of beans, liquids, etc.
What size crock pot does this require? How many quarts?
Hi Sarah! I used a 6-quart slow cooker for this recipe.
Hi Kelly! Wondering if you think any leftovers could be put in the freezer to save? Thanks!
Hi Marissa! Yes! Once the chili has completely cooled, transfer to a heavy-duty freezer bag and store (flat until frozen) in the freezer for up to a month.
Looking at the nutrition information…are those numbers for the entire crockpot? I don’t know where all of that fat would be coming from.
Hi Christine! The Estimated Nutrition Facts provides nutritional information for one serving (this recipe yields 4-6 servings). This is just an estimate, the actual fat content will vary based largely on the ground chicken you use.
what kind of tomato sauce do you recommend?
I love my 10-Minute Homemade Marinara Sauce! Here’s the recipe: https://www.justataste.com/10-minute-homemade-tomato-marinara-pasta-sauce-recipe/
Great recipe – I made it today! I added a can of diced tomatoes!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Ian!
Love the recipe, killer for meal prep and incredibly delicious. Just curious if you wouldn’t happen to have the nutritional info on hand so I can gauge it properly?
Hi Micah! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe! You can find the nutrition facts by clicking the purple Estimated Nutritional Data button located under the recipe.
This was absolutely delicious! Everyone went on and on about how good it was. Thank you!
Love hearing this, Patti! So glad everyone enjoyed it :)
I have had THE worst time making chicken in the crock pot. After even 4 hours, it ends up dry and tasteless. I’m afraid to pre-cook the chicken AND cook in the crock pot for 8 hours. I have read that it’s because there is no fat in chicken…the longer you cook it, the more it dries out. Your thoughts? Maybe add the chicken for the last hour only?
Also, does the crock pot size matter? All I have is a 5 quart, so it is normally only 1/4 or so full when I use it.
Hi there! The chicken won’t be dry because it’s cooking in a lot of liquids. And the crock pot size doesn’t matter! Enjoy :)
If you double the serving size should I also double the spices?
What easy recipes do you suggest for a single guy whom never cooked and would not know which side of a skillet to use. and please make them simple.
Hi there Ara! I’d highly recommend any of our 5-ingredient recipes. You can find them at this link — enjoy! https://www.justataste.com/5-ingredient-recipes/
Hi Kelly! I’d like to make this a vegetarian chili. I was thinking about using a can of white beans and a can of black beans. Do you think I should add anything else or change that up?
That should work!
Your recipe sounds delicious! I love chili! =)
Thanks so much. I hope you enjoyed the recipe, Melissa!
How can I make this recipe without a slow cooker?
Hi Annette! You can follow the directions but add all of the ingredients to a large heavy-bottomed pot and cook it until the ingredients are warmed. One note: The longer it cooks, the more tender the veggies and the more flavorful the chili will be. Enjoy!
Maple syrup X2??
Apologies! That was a typo.